Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a modem and a router? What features set them apart? If yes, then here is a detailed comparison.
Modem and router devices are extremely essential that connect you to the internet which is why many people often confuse them with each other. Both of these devices have blinking lights existing on the Ethernet ports on the back as well as the front area. These features make them a bit similar, but in reality, both of these devices have very different functionality.
So, let’s review modem and router devices and understand what are the differences between them, what are their features, and whether you need a modem or a router for your home.
Read the article till the end if you really want to clear your confusion and get a proper understanding of both devices.
Modem and Router- A Brief Overview:
Let’s have a brief overview before diving into details.
|Decodes signals from internet services||Develops its local network|
|It connects to the internet directly||Wi-fi Creation and signal management|
|Cannot setup any local connection||Splits the connection to multiple devices|
|Not responsible to provide Wi-fi||Needs modem to establish an internet connection|
Many people confuse both of these devices because they get both of them from their internet service provider. When you know the difference between these devices, you can simply be a good consumer and can also save money by purchasing equipment.
What is a Modem?
Now let’s get into more details by understanding how a modem work?
It is generally an efficient hardware device with a coax cable that is responsible to connect with the computer devices via your Internet service provider (ISP). The modem connects you to the internet and helps use the internet freely.
You can buy different kinds of modems; the popular ones are:
- Analog modems (also known as dial-up)
- Digital subscriber line (DSL) or cable modems.
Now your internet services will rent these modems to all the potential subscribers, and it is available with a lot of amazing benefits. Many people prefer to purchase their own modem as it helps save them from paying a lot of monthly fees (which is more than $200 per year depending on the modem).
With a proper modem, you can enjoy a stable and wired Internet connection. Especially if you are running just one device that you want to connect with the internet, such as your mobile or laptop, then you can manage it easily by just using a modem. However, if you have different devices at home, or want to use them wirelessly through Wi-fi, then you definitely need a router as well.
What is a Router?
Now that you understand everything about a modem. It’s time to discuss something about a router, too.
A router which is also sometimes known as a gateway simply establishes a connection with the Internet as well as distributes it to several devices.
So, the primary responsibility of a router is distributing all the internet traffic to the device connected to the network. It happens successfully while assigning all the devices a specific IP address, and when you open any website using your computer, it won’t be sent to the mobile device you are using.
A router enables you to develop your own local network and helps you manage the settings quickly. When you have a router, you can easily manage all the security settings and prioritize internet traffic to different devices. Your devices can also communicate with each other when they are connected to a network. For example, you can change the settings of all devices with a router by simply using specific apps.
When you have a router, you can save money as well. However, when you rent the device from internet service providers, you can get access to technicians who help in troubleshooting and other related matters.
Modem vs. Router:
Still confused about their features and functionalities?
Don’t worry. You can easily understand it by learning some major differences between them, such as:
Modem and router both have different functionalities, they may look the same but act differently. However, there are a couple of similarities as well.
For example, modem and router both have:
- Indicator lights
- Ethernet ports located on their back
- Data transmission from one source to another.
Due to these major similarities, many people cannot differentiate between modems and routers. So, if you are not familiar with the differences and also confused between them, then have a look below and understand what sets them apart. We are sure that you can easily identify differences after learning:
- The modem has fewer ethernet ports like 1 or 2. But router has four built-in Ethernet ports
- The modem features a public IP address, but a router has a private IP address
- Modem uses a WAN-wide area network. However, a router has LAN as it distributes on a local area network.
What Should You Choose? A Modem or a Router?
It depends on your preferences and requirements.
But using combination devices is not a recommended solution.
Because when one part breaks or gets damaged, the whole device will not work. If you want to get the freedom of adjusting things on the personal or home networks, such as security settings, then it’s better to use a separate modem and router.
However, to enjoy some more freedom, you can even buy your own modem, and a router, or can even buy a combo of cable modem routers instead of paying a heavy fee every month by renting the devices.
In short, if you want internet in your home and do not have multiple devices to connect, then you can only rely on a modem. But if you have multiple devices and you want to distribute the internet among all of them without affecting the speed or efficiency, then it’s better to use a router. It would send signals to all the connected devices- wirelessly.